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"America is a Tinderbox"

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I had just finished reading a news article in "The New York Times" in which a man of color expressed how bottled up his rage had become and why he was now protesting police brutality on the occasion of George Floyd's death in New York City last night. (There were protests all over the country because the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white man was so familiar.)
The news article had made me think that covid19 and our having been locked down or forced to work in dangerous circumstances as well as to live in fear and sometimes economic insecurity had combined to provide an atmosphere for the perfect storm. What better time was there for people to feel bottled up rage? We were all bottling up our rage at everything! Nothing was within our control: not our health, not our jobs, not whether we could go out or where.

Then I saw this opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg and she hit the nail on the head (in my opinion). She says that America is a tinderbox.But she goes on from there to speak about leadership and that we have none. We have to think about electing someone with a cooler head to provide leadership in this country.

Here is an excerpt and a link.

"The last two and a half months in America have felt like the opening montage in a dystopian film about a nation come undone. First the pandemic hit and hospitals in New York City were overwhelmed. The national economy froze and unemployment soared; one in four American workers has applied for unemployment benefits since March. Lines of cars stretched for miles at food banks. Heavily armed lockdown protesters demonstrated across the country; in Michigan, they forced the Capitol to close and legislators to cancel their session. Nationwide, at least 100,000 people died of a disease almost no one had heard of last year.

Then, this week, a Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on the neck of a black man named George Floyd. As the life went out of him, Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe, echoing the last words of Eric Garner, whose 2014 death at the hands of New York policemen helped catalyze the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd’s death came only days after three Georgia men were arrested on charges of pursuing and killing a young black man, Ahmaud Arbery, whom they saw out running. A prosecutor had initially declined to charge the men on the grounds that their actions were legal under the state’s self-defense laws.

In Minneapolis protesters poured into the streets, where they met a far harsher police response than anything faced by the country’s gun-toting anti-lockdown activists. On Wednesday night, peaceful demonstrations turned into riots, and on Thursday Minnesota’s governor called in the National Guard.
For a moment, it seemed as if the blithe brutality of Floyd’s death might check the worst impulses of the president and his Blue Lives Matter supporters. The authorities were forced to act: All four of the policemen involved were fired, police chiefs across the country condemned them and William Barr’s Justice Department promised a federal investigation that would be a “top priority.” Even Donald Trump, who has encouraged police brutality in the past, described what happened to Floyd as a 'very, very bad thing.'

But on Thursday night, after a county prosecutor said his office was still determining if the four policemen had committed a crime, the uprising in Minneapolis was reignited, and furious people burned a police precinct. (One of the officers was arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday.) On Twitter, an addled Trump threatened military violence against those he called 'THUGS,' writing, 'When the looting starts, the shooting starts.'

Whether Trump knew it or not, he was quoting a racist phrase from the 1960s used by George Wallace, among others. The president later tried to tamp down outrage by saying he was just warning of danger — the Trump campaign has hoped, after all, to peel off some black voters from the Democrats — but his meaning was obvious enough. This is the same president who on Thursday tweeted out a video of a supporter saying, 'The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.'

The Trump presidency has been marked by shocking spasms of right-wing violence: the white nationalist riot in Charlottesville, Va., the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the mass shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso. But even as the country has simmered and seethed, there hasn’t been widespread disorder. Now, though, we might be at the start of a long, hot summer of civil unrest."

 

PreRaphaelite

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In 1938/1939 there were people who stayed in Germany hoping things would blow over. Did they ever have a moment when they thought, ‘ok, time to go’? I feel more and more like the US is not the same country anymore, not the one I grew up in and had some expectations of. Nothing feels settled anymore, not ethics, law, media... everything seems positioned to collapse.
 

AGBF

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At one time I was merely outraged at a Trump presidency. Then as his term progressed I noted more and more egregious acts. After years of protest I began to become more philosophical about what he had done, since I had already exhausted all the legal avenues I had (calls to my Congressman and Senators, contributions to the ACLU, etc). As I have mentioned on Pricescope before, I have a background in history. I began to think that I did not need to fight anymore, especially after Trump was impeached, because the record would show what he had done.

The coronavirus came sweeping in and knocked everything sideways. The way that Trump mishandled the entire pandemic with an eye only on his friends in industry and his re-election as 100,000 Americans died shook me up again. Now these riots in my country, my poor country full of unemployed and hungry people heading toward a depression, lined up for food banks....I feel all at sea. I am not so much angry as frightened. I hope that Joe Biden will be elected, but I hope that November will not be too late. Or January 2021. How many people will be dead from covid19 by November? 200,00? 300,000?
 

arkieb1

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As an outsider looking in I'm not sure what to say Deb, when Trump got elected, I think his whole term or terms in office will go down as a sad period of US history when American went backwards in many many ways, not forwards.

COVID - 19 both from a health and an economic level would test any leadership (or lack thereof) let alone one as dysfunctional as Trump and his team....

I sincerely hope that you have better, more rational leadership, some time in the future, and hopefully that will unite everyone again.
 

alittlelight

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Was this the article that referenced the “boogaloo” insurgents — the group whose stated goal is to incite civil war? That was beyond creepy and scary.
 

Dancing Fire

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The coronavirus came sweeping in and knocked everything sideways. The way that Trump mishandled the entire pandemic with an eye only on his friends in industry and his re-election as 100,000 Americans died shook me up again.
Out of these 100K how many were from blue states ran by D Governors?
 

Dancing Fire

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How many people will be dead from covid19 by November? 200,00? 300,000?
The experts say over 200K will be dead just in Ca. alone.
 

OboeGal

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I absolutely agree with the characterization of America as a tinderbox. I do think we were already heading there even before the nightmare of 2020 arrived, though. I think we've been building toward it for awhile, and I think the reasons are many and complex.

People are under intense economic pressure. Economic inequality has been growing for a while. Trickle-down economics didn't work, but we're still living in that system. We have very little social safety net, what is there is getting harder to access, people are demonized for using it, and it's constantly under threat of being taken away. Employers have near-authoritarian control over people's lives, increasingly demanding unreasonable hours of work and total and complete devotion to the job over everything else in people's lives, including their children, often not paying them enough, demanding they work when ill, controlling whether or not they have healthcare coverage, refusing to provide safe working conditions, etc. And then, of course, there's the whole healthcare debacle. Meanwhile, the wealthy are getting wealthier at the expense of everyone else and are completely controlling policy to their advantage. The only seeming avenue to some sort of financial security - education - has skyrocketing costs disproportionate to the quality of education received.

People are unhealthy. Many don't have access to or can't afford healthy food or preventive medicine. It's almost impossible to access any kind of quality mental health care in many, if not most, communities. Many don't have the time and/or energy to exercise or practice self-care, especially when they are working 60-70 hrs/week and/or at multiple jobs, and then have to take care of a family, too. They're exhausted and worried, and don't have reason to think that the hamster wheel they're frantically running on is going to stop anytime soon, if ever. And they're wondering if that's what their children's lives are going to look like, too.

We've been involved in military conflict for how many years, now? And what concrete result is there for the average person to show for all the money spent and costs to military members and their families? Yet, there is no sign of significant decrease of military spending in favor of, say, a social safety net or building our infrastructure. (Or helping feed people in a pandemic. Or providing protective equipment to healthcare workers.)

We still have a racist system. Not just racist individuals - a racist system. There are so many that want to believe that's not the case anymore, which is at best naive, and they are angry and resistant at the idea that they still need to deal with that fact - that the hard work around that needs to continue to be done, even as we're all so stressed and exhausted. Of course, the folks that are being discriminated against are angry, exhausted, fed up - rightfully so.

Early in the course of these patterns being set, we had politicians like Newt Gingrich introduce new tactics of painting members of the opposing party as if the views and attitudes of only the most fringe extremist members were actually held by all of that party, to convince voters that everyone from that party is "dangerous". This took off like wildfire - to the horror of some members of his party, like George H. W. Bush - and was picked up as well by a whole host of radio and TV media being financed by wealthy people who knew that: A) it would work people up and get them to keep listening/watching, which would make them tons of money; and B) they could manipulate their audience to vote in such a way as to both shape society in the way they want to see it go and further rig the system to their financial and power advantage. With time, the other party adopted similar tactics, set up their own competing biased media, and we were off to the races. One of their favorite tropes, trotted out again and again, is that if you're struggling economically, mentally, physically, it's the fault of that other - the other party, the other race, the other religion, the religious, the not-religious, those with different sexual preferences or identity, those with what are considered "typical" sexual preferences or identity, those born outside our borders, those who can't survive where they are and want to come here, the poor, those who dare to question the system, etc., etc., etc., but not ever the actual system that is benefiting them and the politicians they pay for us to vote for. It's a huge con. Now, we have the internet and all the partisan websites and all the external actors from other countries getting in, too, and social media. Even mainstream media have learned that they make much more money when they can get us frightened/outraged/upset by a headline so that we click on it.

So, we live our lives under growing intense pressure with no end in sight, and everything we hear/see/read incessantly, all day long, is telling us to be outraged at, or frightened anew of, that other that is responsible for everything bad - especially that other party.

Psychologists are aware of an organic phenomena in which two people in conflict tend to, over time, become more and more polarized in their positions. This will continue until someone either walks away completely, effectively ending the relationship, or someone takes the risk of conceding a fair bit of ground and moving toward the middle, and the other responds by doing the same. This dynamic holds between groups, as well - like, say, political parties. Unfortunately, our two-party system sets us up for this dynamic. (I'm so envious of other western nations that have multiple parties.) So it's easy to see that the tactics described above have manipulated the American population into two groups that have become almost irreparably polarized, and because of the internet, we no longer have "cooling-off" periods when we can get away from this anger, this blame, this fear and outrage, and be more thoughtful and reasoned in how we interact - we can just react immediately with our worst monkey brains and then it shoots all over the 'net virally.

This already had America in a very, very angry place. I've been seeing it for a few years now: the growing anger and impatience and unwillingness to consider others and to overreact to everything and to seek drama again and again. I'm pretty convinced that our current president is actually a symptom, rather than a cause, of this. Certainly, of course, he has utterly used all this to his advantage and has accelerated the damage considerably.

And.......now we have all that 2020 has wrought.
 

OboeGal

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Out of these 100K how many were from blue states ran by D Governors?
Nice try, but it doesn't fly. They also happen to be the coastal states with more people flying in and out internationally to "seed" those areas with the virus first, as well as the largest cities with greatest population density - where you typically see the worst numbers in epidemics. It had nothing to do with Democrat or Republican policies within those states. And all the states were at a disadvantage because they were being pitted against one another in trying to obtain protective gear for their medical workers. Sometimes they would order those supplies, and then upon never receiving them, find out the supplies had been rerouted to the federal government - essentially stolen from them. Now, who is it in charge of the federal government again?
 

OboeGal

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In 1938/1939 there were people who stayed in Germany hoping things would blow over. Did they ever have a moment when they thought, ‘ok, time to go’? I feel more and more like the US is not the same country anymore, not the one I grew up in and had some expectations of. Nothing feels settled anymore, not ethics, law, media... everything seems positioned to collapse.
You're describing exactly the sentiments, and dilemma, I feel myself experiencing literally every day nowadays. Back and forth, all day - "Should we go? Is it time to go? Is it safe to stay here anymore? Can I stand to leave the only country I've ever known, the house I love, where my niece and nephews are? Can I stand to stay? Can we afford to live here anymore?"

All day. Every. Day.

I'm exhausted, and it's tearing me apart.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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You're describing exactly the sentiments, and dilemma, I feel myself experiencing literally every day nowadays. Back and forth, all day - "Should we go? Is it time to go? Is it safe to stay here anymore? Can I stand to leave the only country I've ever known, the house I love, where my niece and nephews are? Can I stand to stay? Can we afford to live here anymore?"

All day. Every. Day.

I'm exhausted, and it's tearing me apart.
I hear you. I’ve been in this quandary (where is safe? Where is my heart?) since the 2016 election and it IS exhausting.
No decision is without its consequences. Let us hope we make the right decision before it is made for us.
I am slowly leaning toward the possibility of France as home base. The little bit of integration I’ve accomplished so far has been challenging, (bureaucracy aside),
but the adventure has been a peak experience.
Where would you go??
 

missy

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I hear you. I’ve been in this quandary (where is safe? Where is my heart?) since the 2016 election and it IS exhausting.
No decision is without its consequences. Let us hope we make the right decision before it is made for us.
I am slowly leaning toward the possibility of France as home base. The little bit of integration I’ve accomplished so far has been challenging, (bureaucracy aside),
but the adventure has been a peak experience.
Where would you go??


I know you didn't ask me but if I may answer. That's a tough question. One I have been pondering for years now. I am disappointed in the USA and IDK what the future holds but I am hopeful with new leadership we can get back onto a healthier path. Will we? IDK. But it is with fervent passion I hope we do.

In the meantime I am daydreaming about where we would go. I love Canada but it is too cold weather wise for me. I dream about relocating to Australia but they would never allow us to...we are too old and don't have anything to contribute to them. So yes, it is a quandary.
 

lovedogs

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I wish you could all become Aussies, it really mostly is a wonderful place to live.
I think I would love AUS, except for the scary giant spiders :) there are times I really want to move to Canada. I wish somewhere like AUS were realistic, but it's just not given to distance from family
 

arkieb1

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I think I would love AUS, except for the scary giant spiders :) there are times I really want to move to Canada. I wish somewhere like AUS were realistic, but it's just not given to distance from family
The spiders are O.K we have a large number of deadly snakes and really really big sharks that occasionally like to eat people. Animal wise the spiders are the least of the worries.... and things like poisonous jellyfish both big and so tiny you can barely see them, that can kill you as well...

There are lots of joke memes that a lot of Australian animals just want to kill you. But it's not true you just have to be aware of where they live and try not to provoke them.

Lets not forget the US and Canada have huge bears, we have little koalas often referred to as drop bears instead. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

The great thing is we have very few guns compared to the US so we at least mostly are not trying to kill each other. And for the most part most Aussies are fairly chilled out people.
 

PreRaphaelite

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I often think about leaving. I lived in Ireland for two years when I was young and free, and it changed me utterly. Back then things were easier when immigrating there... a lot of obstacles now. If the world were truly ending, I’d go there and then figure it out somehow.

Meanwhile. I have a cousin who moved to Abbotsford BC, Canada, years ago and he’s happy. I’d like to go there someday and see the area. As immigrants go, I’m uncomplicated. I’m single, no kids, no mortgage or car loan, no credit card debt, so I truly have few financial ties in the US. But I expect there will be some challenges in becoming Canadian. Maybe I’m just projecting.

And then, there’s Wales. Sigh. I wish.
 

Jimmianne

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I often think about leaving. I lived in Ireland for two years when I was young and free, and it changed me utterly. Back then things were easier when immigrating there... a lot of obstacles now. If the world were truly ending, I’d go there and then figure it out somehow.

Meanwhile. I have a cousin who moved to Abbotsford BC, Canada, years ago and he’s happy. I’d like to go there someday and see the area. As immigrants go, I’m uncomplicated. I’m single, no kids, no mortgage or car loan, no credit card debt, so I truly have few financial ties in the US. But I expect there will be some challenges in becoming Canadian. Maybe I’m just projecting.

And then, there’s Wales. Sigh. I wish.
My grandparents were Welsh. Had not thought much about Wales until you mentioned it! I’ll bet it’s beautiful.

France or The EU in general was never on my radar, ever. I chaperoned my DD for an 8 day visit there, and went back five months later on my own, semi-terrified during the strikes and flooding, but ended up buying a house. I was almost 70. A friend moved here alone from Australia at 85!
If I had known how challenging it would be to get a visa I might have lost heart, but one step at a time and it was accomplished. I can’t imagine the hassle of becoming a citizen of another country, including moving funds and being taxed. Maybe just having a visa for another country is enough in this lifetime.
 

Dancing Fire

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Now, who is it in charge of the federal government again?
The Fed gave everything NY needed including a hospital ship but he still screw up. Now who's in charge in NY?. Why did he had to kill all those senior citizens in the nursing homes?
 

OboeGal

Brilliant_Rock
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I hear you. I’ve been in this quandary (where is safe? Where is my heart?) since the 2016 election and it IS exhausting.
No decision is without its consequences. Let us hope we make the right decision before it is made for us.
I am slowly leaning toward the possibility of France as home base. The little bit of integration I’ve accomplished so far has been challenging, (bureaucracy aside),
but the adventure has been a peak experience.
Where would you go??
Looks like I'm in sync with a lot of folks here! My first choice, hands down, would be Australia - no question about it. Warm weather, beautiful countryside, already know the language, similar enough in culture to not be a huge culture shock but different where I would need it to be, proving that the population can be properly cared for in a pandemic......I would love this. Unfortunately, like missy, at our age I don't know that we could make it happen. I'll have to look into it more to be sure.

Canada would have nearly all the same attributes and would keep us much closer to my family, but......the cold! The snow! I don't know.....

Of course, DH is from the Netherlands, where all his family and his best friend are, and it would be wonderful to be close to them, but we have no easy path there because he was forced to destroy his Dutch passport for his job here - the same one that laid him off! - and in doing so renounced his citizenship there. There is a pending court case there around this issue, though, so we're waiting to see how that turns out. We don't necessarily want to stay in the Netherlands because of how gray and chilly it is, as well as crowded - it would cost a prohibitively large sum of money to find a house and yard even half the size of what we have here, and he says that he has become spoiled by experiencing the space here and doesn't want to live crowded again - nor do I. However, if he could reclaim his citizenship and passport, we could freely go to many other European countries, yet still be much closer to his loved ones than we are now. In that case, we'd look at Spain or Portugal to look for warm weather. I also studied two years of Spanish in high school and one in college, so we're hoping that I could recapture a fair bit of that!

Yet another area we would consider might be areas of Central or South America, such as Panama or Peru, that have warm weather and a fairly substantial US expatriate community.
 

JPie

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I would say Taiwan, but looking at what’s happening to Hong Kong now, I don’t feel optimistic about Taiwan either.
 

Dancing Fire

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For the past 3 yrs PS liberals had been trashing the US and its policies blah.gif kept saying they would move to another country soon, but as of today these same PSers are still living in the US. All talk and no action.
 

arkieb1

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For the past 3 yrs PS liberals had been trashing the US and its policies blah.gif kept saying they would move to another country soon, but as of today these same PSers are still living in the US. All talk and no action.
I trash the US and Trump specifically if you had someone in charge who was a conservative and doing a good job I'd be the first one to say so, I don't know how many times I have to say it, I have a conservative government in power where I live and they are doing a good job. I didn't vote for them but I can still happily say that.
 

Karl_K

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All the walmart stores, Target, Walgreens, cvs, and old navy and dozens of smaller stores closing until further notice and barricading after threats and a bunch of looting and armed robbery last night in my area.
 

Matata

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Karl_K

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AGBF

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For the past 3 yrs PS liberals had been trashing the US and its policies blah.gif kept saying they would move to another country soon, but as of today these same PSers are still living in the US. All talk and no action.
Pricescopers who (justifiably) criticized Trump did not "trash" (i.e. criticize) the United States, but the man who was just elected its latest president.As has been explained on this forum before, the president is not the state, although both he and William Barr mistakenly believe that he is.

How many Pricescopers threatened to leave the United States? Please post those "threats" from the Pricescope archives for our edification. I do not remember the number being huge. I believe most of us wanted to get Trump out of office as soon as possible, not desert our country ourselves and leave it to him.

However, if anyone "threatened" to leave the United States, that is his right. He doesn't have to do what he said he might do. There is no law saying that people have to follow through with all the things they say they will do. And if Trump had become even more authoritarian, it might be wise for those with an option to flee the country until order was restored here to do so. When a dictator takes over and there is no rule of law, some may want to stay and fight, others may want to flee and fight from the outside. That is what happened in the fascist countries of Europe in the 1930's and 1940's. Those who fled and fought were the partisans.
 
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